If you’re one of Oprah’s 14 million followers on Twitter, you may have seen Ms. Winfrey celebrating one of her new favorite things: Middle of Nowhere, a film she called “powerful and poetic.” Indeed, the movie (which opens in theaters today in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, D.C. and Philadelphia) has received stellar reviews and has a lot to offer all audiences — but especially Black folks dying to see complex, realistic reflections of ourselves on screen.
Here, just five reasons why you might want to get your ticket now:
1. This is one of the best lead roles for a Black woman in years. Actress Emayatzy Corinealdi shines as Ruby, a nurse struggling at a crossroads: Should she continue standing by her incarcerated husband, for whom she’s already sacrificed her dreams, or should she make moves toward building a new life? Ruby is a fully realized, nuanced character, and the movie delves into every aspect of her — her deep wells of love, yearning and resilience.
2. Its writer/director is a history-making sister. Earlier this year Ava DuVernay was named best director at the Sundance Film Festival — the first Black woman to ever be so honored. She also is the founder of the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), which gives Black indie films exposure by releasing them in major cities.
3. It’s beautifully shot. The talented brother Bradford Young, whose work you’ve seen in Pariah, is the cinematographer on Middle of Nowhere, and his increasingly signature style — “lush,” DuVernay called it in an interview with the New York Times — amplifies the overall artistry of the film.
4. It co-stars the awesome Lorraine Toussaint. Maybe you know her as a guest star on Law & Order, or remember her from the old Lifetime series Any Day Now. Either way, you’ll probably agree she’s one of the most underrated Black actresses out there. In Middle of Nowhere, Toussaint doesn’t have many minutes on screen but she makes every one of them count as Ruby’s tough yet wounded mother.
5. It’s got major eye candy, ladies! That’s right: Omari Hardwick stars as Ruby’s imprisoned husband Derek, and David Oyowole (Red Tails) is Brian, the man who represents a new start for Ruby. Which one would you choose?
Do you plan to see Middle of Nowhere this weekend or when it comes to a city near you?